Clarence Darrow - Short Biography
Clarence Seward Darrow, the renowned American trial lawyer, was born April 18, 1857 in Kinsman, Ohio. A fierce defender of those facing the death penalty, not one of his clients was ever put to death. A great orator, he used the English language with every conceivable literary device, including poetry, to drive home his arguments. He has no doubt been a great inspiration to the Hollywood tradition of the country-born lawyer putting on a show for judge and jury. Darrow spent much of his professional life fighting against capital punishment. In addition to saving over a hundred people from the death sentence, he is best known for his part in what became known as the Scopes Monkey Trial. John T. Scopes, a biology teacher, was put on trial for teaching Darwin's theory of evolution to public school students. In a Tennessee courtroom, Darrow began the case, that was eventually appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States, doing battle against the American populist politician William Jennings Bryan. At one point in the trial, Darrow called Bryan to the stand as an expert on the bible and proceeded to outwit his adversary. Darrow's goal, which he successfully accomplished, was to lose this first trial and then have it appealed all the way to the Supreme Court. Darrow not only strived to win cases but also to reform the law in the process. Clarence Seward Darrow died on March 13, 1938 at the age of 80.